NEW YORK (Jan. 14)
More than 400 Jewish leaders from the United States and Canada voted this weekend to provide a major share of Israel’s $289,000,000 Development Budget this year through the sale of State of Israel Bond’s. The decision was reached at the 1968 planning conference of the board of governors of the Israel Bond Organization which met at the Hotel Commodore to consider maximum financial participation in strategic economic development projects in Israel.
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, vice-president of the organization, emphasized that “at a time when almost all of Israel’s resources must be devoted to maintaining her position in the struggle for a lasting peace, the launching of development projects in industry, aviation and commerce vital to its economic growth in 1968 will depend more than ever on the results of the State of Israel Bond campaigns in North America and other parts of the free world.”
The conference reelected Samuel Rothberg, of Peoria, 111., as national campaign chairman, and Abraham Feinberg, of New York, as president of the Israel Bond Organization. Special honors were paid by the group last night to Abraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, who is completing his tour of duty in the capital.
Dr. Schwartz said that, in the aftermath of the Middle East hostilities of last summer, Israel looks to the Israel Bond Organization to provide more than half of the funds required to meet the country’s development needs for the coming year. In the past, he explained, Israel Bond receipts covered only one-third of the Development Budget. He added that Prime Minister Eshkol’s visit to the United States had served to underline Israel’s greater reliance on American Jewry for economic aid. He pointed out that the bulk of the proceeds from the sale of Israel; Bonds in the United States in 1968 would remain in this country, as in previous year, to repay loans, to cover the purchase of machinery and raw materials, and to pay for other U.S. items exported to Israel.
Dr. Schwartz stated that the $289,000,000 in Israel’s new Development Budget will be allocated to major branches of the economy as follows: $19,000,000 for agriculture; $17,000,000 for water projects; $21,000,000 for mines and minerals; $7,000,000 for electricity; $32,000,000 for industry and crafts; $20.000.000 for transport; $31,000,000 for posts; $64,000,000 for housing; $12,000,000 for roads; $25,000,000 for government and public buildings; $7,000,000 for loans to local authorities; $6,000,000 for tourism; $7,000,000 for oil pipelines and wells; $5,000,000 for miscellaneous enterprises, and $16,000,000 as a reserve for unspecified development projects.
BOYAR OUTLINES MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS TO BE AIDED BY BONDS THIS YEAR
Louis H. Boyar, of Los Angeles, chairman of the board of governors, outlined as follows the major development projects which will be financed with the aid of Israel Bond income in the current year:
1) Construction of a new 42-inch oil pipeline from Elath to the Mediterranean to bring about a major increase in the amount of oil which can be pumped from ships berthed at Elath on the Gulf of Akaba to Ashdod and Haifa on the Mediterranean. It is expected that the new pipeline will be able to carry 50,000,000 tons of oil per year; (2) Expansion of the Dead Sea Works, with a goal of 1,000,000 tons of potash production each year by 1970; (3) Initial construction of the Arad Chemical complex, planned for the development town of Arad in the Negev to exploit the phosphate deposits in the area; (4) Construction of a new plant of Chemicals and Phosphates Ltd., to produce 80,000 tons of ammonia and 30,000 tons of urea per year; (5) Development of facilities for the utilization of nuclear energy for peacetime industrial purposes;
6) Construction of a new air terminal at Lydda capable of handling supersonic planes, and the purchase of additional up-to-date planes for EI AI Israel Airlines as a means of furthering the growth of the country’s tourist trade; (7) Building 17,000 new housing units during 1968; (8) Addition of another 38,000 telephones during the year and (9) Construction of new roads, including completion of the widened highway from Tel Aviv to Haifa, and building a new road linking Lydda Airport with both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
“As Israel moves into the supersonic and nuclear age as part of her economic life,” Mr. Boyar said, ‘Israel Bonds must play a role of increasing importance in its development as a modern, advanced economic entity.”
The decisive importance of continued aid to Israel’s economic development was emphasized also by Mr. Rothberg, who stressed the fact that Israel’s export trade and industrial production had suffered substantial losses as a result of the summer crisis of 1967. In addition to the problem of restoring the economy to normal operation, Israel is confronted with the task of further reducing unemployment and sustaining the economy of areas which came under her administration seven months ago. he said.
Noting that there is still substantial unemployment in Israel, Mr. Rothberg declared: “Because Israel Bond funds reached Israel in record amounts during 1967, it was possible to keep unemployment under control, in spite of the economic strains caused by the critical developments of last June. Unemployment reached a peak of 42,500 in March, but was down to 31,000 by the end of the year. However, Israel is still a long way from achieving the kind of full employment which existed in 1964 and earlier years. That will require continued concentration on the expansion of the country’s export trade. The recent currency devaluation has been a step in the right direction. Now Israel must concentrate on an accelerated expansion of industries which produce for export, providing an increase of employment opportunities on a basis which is economically sound.”
Mr. Rothberg announced that the 1968 Israel Bond campaign will be officially launched at a four day international inaugural conference to be held in Miami Beach from Thursday, February 29 through Sunday, March 3. The occasion will also welcome Maj-Gen. Itzhak Rabin, chief of staff during the recent Arab-Israel conflict, who has been named as Israel’s new Ambassador to the United States.
The Israel Bonds, which are on sale this year, consist of a $500,000,000 Fourth Development Issue which was launched on September 15, 1967. They are available in twelve-year savings bonds beginning at $100 which mature at 160% of the issue amount and fifteen-year coupon bonds, beginning at $500, which pay 4% interest per annum.
BOYAR HONORED ON 70TH BIRTHDAY; WOMEN’S DIVISION PLANS PARTICIPATION
A special highlight of the conference was a tribute to Mr. Boyar in honor of his 70th birthday. A silver breastplate for the Torah (Scrolls of the Law) was presented to Mr. Boyar by Mr. Rothberg, in behalf of the Israel Bond Organization. The inscription on the presentation cited Mr. Boyar for “a lifetime of exceptional service to the cause of Jewish survival and the building of the State of Israel. His unbounded generosity and forceful leadership have earned for him a unique place of honor in American Jewry and in the affections of his colleagues.”
A special award was also presented to Himan Brown, noted radio and television producer, in recognition of his service as volunteer producer and director of the annual Chanukah Festival for Israel sponsored by Israel Bonds at Madison Square Garden.
At a separate session of the national women’s division of the Bond Organization, held in conjunction with the conference, a plaque was presented to Jacques Lipchitz, the famous sculptor, in recognition of his “devoted support for Israel through exemplary participation in the Israel Bond program.” At the session, women’s division leaders from the United States and Canada set plans for their 1968 Israel Bond campaign. Mrs. Jan Peerce, national women’s division chairman, presided.
In an address to the women delegates, Mrs. Peerce paid tribute to them for their “intense awareness of Israel’s needs in the coming year.” “There is every reason to believe,” she said, “that your efforts will be translated into an overwhelmingly successful campaign in 1968, for you have demonstrated your willingness and ability to make this so.”
Three campaign seminars were held in conjunction with the women’s division session. Mrs. Oscar Rudnick, of Worcester, Mass., was chairman of a seminar for small cities: Mrs. Milton Berger, of Rochester, N.Y., was chairman of a seminar for medium cities; and Mrs. David Sindell, of Cleveland, presided at a seminar for large cities.